My first makes of the year are all tops. I do love a quick make! I’ve made all these patterns before, so other than lots of pics, this post will be short and sweet.
First up is one of my favorite new patterns, the Bronte Top from Jennifer Lauren Vintage. You can see my earlier version in red here. Other then making the long sleeve version this one is exactly the same. I made up a bunch of these assembly line style during the holidays. This version in a light grey performance knit, I also refashioned another version in teal(no pics yet), made a burgundy version for my sis which I hope to get pics of( hint, hint Megan!) and made the dark grey scuba knit below. It is amazing how different fabrics effect the fit of this top. This version is quite fitted unlike my first as the stretch is greater, and firmer. The knit was a remnant I found at Jo Ann’s, and my fav so far. I need more solid colors like this, so versatile.
Next is my grey scuba short sleeve Bronte. This one was meant for my friend Karen, but came out a bit too tiny as she’s bustier then I am. It does fit me but the sleeves are a bit tight. I do like the line of this shirt as it skims the waist. The scuba is just so thick that it doesn’t have as much stretch so it’s a bit restrictive. I’ll have to make another for her in a different fabric.
And finally, here’s my altered Francoise to a scuba knit top/sweater. This was made with the leftover yardage, Marcy Tilton (out of stock), from my Scuba Knit Francoise dress. Made in the same way as my dress except I pinched out the bust darts and removed all the other darts. It gives it a more aline shape. I finished it with a simple serged on band at the waist. Easy peasy. Plus on a cold day this pairs perfectly with the light grey top.
All these tops work into my sewing silhouettes. Can’t wait to make up a few more pieces to show off the full looks! I just finished my new jeans yesterday and can’t wait to show them off! I’m already jonesing to make another much simpler pair in a light color.
I think I love planning out my looks just as much as the actual sewing and dyeing. Read on for my sewing plans for 2015!
For the past few month’s I’ve been working my way slowly through Into Mind’s Workbook, love her site! Below is my color palette for the year. I’m not bothering to make as much seasonally anymore. During SW Florida winters the coldest it gets is in the high 40’sF(8C) in the a.m., so it’s just a matter of layering. I’ve worn a sport jacket maybe 3 days out of the year so far. Plus the cold weather is so infrequent, a week of cold and then it’s back in the 80’sF(27C). The only time my wardrobe really changes is in summer, when I just wear less altogether and am at the beach more often than not. So from now on I’ll be sewing just 2 seasons, Summer + Spring/Fall. You can see my earlier Into Mind, Wardrobe Revamp Pinterest board here.
I was originally thinking of entering this year’s SWAP, but I’m not sure now if I will. I really don’t want to deal with sewing contests and imposed deadlines this year. But I loved the silhouette planning this led me to focus on. One of my goals for the New Year is to make full head to toe looks that all coordinate. I hate having lovely makes in my closet that I have only one or no options to wear with.
On that note, I’m joining up again with Wardrobe Architect again this year to plan out my Sewing. January is for finding your style and picking out your preferred silhouette’s, which I’ve already done and have been tweaking as I go, but you can see my WA boards on Pinterest here, and here. In the coming month’s I’ll be using WA to plan out my Summer Wardrobe.
So below are my main silhouettes for Fall/Winter/Spring. I used my handy dandy The Fashion Sketchpad to sketch these out quickly. Right now I’m working on finishing my first main look, the jacket and jeans, before it gets too hot to wear them. The jacket, V8621 Claire Schaeffer, was started last year around this time and quickly became a UFO. Mainly because it’s almost all hand sewn using couture techniques which is so time-consuming. Plus I had gained a little weight which I’m slowly losing now with my daily 4+ mile walks back and forth to Nigel’s school.
I just started on the jeans using my altered pattern from my last pair of Vogue Jeans, V8874. I found a lovely organic denim with a bit of stretch on Etsy at Werkundstoff. The back of the jeans are sewn, my coral topstitching looks great and the hand embroidered pockets look fab! I just can’t resist putting embroidery on pockets! I was inspired by William Morris and his pomegranate designs. My blog is named after Pomona, the goddess of fruitful abundance, so I though it was fitting to make my embroidery compliment that. I used the same imagery to design my logo(check it out at the top of my page!) The embroidery was a perfect project for the past week with both kids home. I can easily bring it with me to the park and outings and could do a bit while watching tv in the evenings.
My Preliminary Silhouette Sketches:
The first two tops in the image below are done too. I’ll be posting them next week. The Francoise Top/Sweater Knit and the Bronte Long Sleeve in Grey.
These (below) are my two workout/walking looks and the Holly jumpsuit that I have been wanting to make for ages! I’m envisioning it in a crisp white linen for Spring.
One of my goals this year is to work with patterns I already own/or have made before. Only one new sewing pattern in this lineup. Also I’m really going to try to stick to using up my refashion stash (all my old RTW clothes + some stuff from my mom) and then try to use recycled textiles and only buy organic and sustainable fabrics. I don’t actually have a fabric stash, I usually buy as I go.
I also want to start drafting my own patterns more this year as I plan for starting my business next year. I’m working with the book Patternmaking: Portfolio Skills by Dennic Chunman Lo as well as a Craftsy Course, Patternmaking Basics: The Bodice Sloper with Suzy Furrer.
I’ve just signed up again for another fast from purchasing clothing with Goodbye Valentino’s RTW Fast! I loved participating last year as it really helped me focus on my sewing. If I wanted something to wear I needed to make it. Great Motivation! And this month I’ll be following along with Cloth Habit’s Watson Bra Sew-along. I bought all my notions before Christmas and am psyched to make some more lingerie.
I’m also hoping to participate in this is moonlight’s One Year, One Outfit challenge to sew a complete sustainable outfit. Here are Nicki’s ground rules: all fibers farmed and processed locally (she’s using a 300 mile radius, I may need to go farther?), all fibers must be natural, use natural non toxic dyes, & all fabric and clothing made must be of quality construction. Unfortunately I’m not located near any Fibershed’s :( , and the nearest organic fabric I’ve sourced in the past was from North Carolina and Texas. More research needed! The dyeing part will be much easier as I’ve had great success in the past with vegetable and local plant dyes.
My little 3-year-old Ami is obsessed with princesses, mermaids, and evil queens/witches (she was Maleficent for Halloween!). Her wish for Christmas…..to look like her favorite princess, Sofia the First. She’s even growing her hair out to look more like Sofia.
My guideline for our family Christmas gifts is:
Something you want,
something you need,
something to wear…
and something to read.
The something to wear is always my favorite part of the gifts. This year I made matching crazy (patchwork) pants for Nigel and his daddy repurposed from Vic’s plethora of dress shirts. I’ll be sharing those soon-just need some pics! And for Ami a very time intensive Sofia inspired dress. You can see my planning post with links to my inspiration here.
After gathering inspiration I decided I wanted to make this dress in a knit. Ami is really picky about what she’ll wear lately and it’s basically been narrowed down to shades of purple and pink sewn in knits. I’ve made some lovely pieces for her in wovens but she rarely will wear them. Her skater dresses are still her fav’s. She also has a huge selection of lovely hand me down clothes from her cousin so she really doesn’t need me to sew for her.
I wanted something wearable even if it’s a dress-up dress and as I love Alabama Chanin’s style I thought I’d try my hand at some reverse applique. I originally planned on hand sewing with embroidery thread but I knew if I wanted this done in time for the holidays it needed to be machine sewn. Also I worried about Ami playing and pulling out stitches too easily. I went with using a decorative stitch on my sewing machine. I have a Singer Stylist which has tons of stitches that I really don’t use much. I originally bought it for kid’s and craft sewing before I started sewing more for myself. I can’t wait to make some handsewn applique for myself now!
self drafted dress and slip – I’m happy to share the pattern if anyone is interested in a tutorial?
For my self drafted pattern I went with a simple bodice and a slightly puffed short sleeve as well as a 6 panel rounded skirt. The bodice and skirt are sewn with the orchid and white fabrics sewn together and then turned right sides out with the orchid on top and the white underneath. I gathered my skirt before attaching to the bodice and the sleeves are just a single layer of the orchid. I then designed my cut out’s and chalked them onto my fabric. After stitching around my outlines I cut away the interior to show the white underneath. The only change I would make is to narrow the waist a bit more as it was difficult to gather the skirt with double layers since the interlock is quite thick.
The sleeveless under slip is the same basic pattern with a narrower skirt lengthened to the floor. I finished my edges with white serging and then machine embroidered a bow pattern onto the bodice and hem in a variegated purple and pink silk thread. I like that she can wear this as a separate dress if she wants. And the main dress can be worn by itself for play with the shorter length.
My biggest challenge with this dress was getting Ami to wear it for photos after Christmas. She just didn’t want to wear it which had me really bummed after spending so much time on it. I finally figured out that was waiting to wear this until Spring to wear it ???
Luckily it was in the 80’s last week, I LOVE Florida, so I told her it was Spring now. It does feel like it lately. She immediately agreed to put it on and pose! She was thrilled when I pulled out my bag with all her princess accessories: pink tiara, princess heels, and jewelry!
I have to say I love these pics so much because this was one of the first days Ami was back to her happy little storytelling self after being sick for so long with a bad cold followed by double ear infections. What a difference it made to see her like this again!
Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Years! Happy Sewing!
The year is quickly coming to a close and I’ve been thinking a lot about my goals for the new year. Perfect timing for another Top 5 Post! This will be a longer post as I wanted to get these all written up before the year is over! You can see my Top 5 Hits post here.
Most of my failures this year seem to be due to fabric choice or silhouette. I love both my navy linen and dyed gauze pants but the fabrics just didn’t hold up well. My Hawthorn peplum is too tight and just not a silhouette I enjoy wearing. My Oonapalooza wrap pants are great as a muslin but fabric choice makes them just a bit too crazy for me to wear out and about. And my Anne Klein Vogue top was also a poor fabric choice color wise. It’s just too cutesy and bright, my other tops from this pattern are worn constantly.
images clockwise left-right: Hawthorn peplum, Anne Klein Vogue Top, Gauze Pants, Navy Linen Pants, Sheer Wrap Pants
Highlights of our year(family):
It was a wonderful year! My son graduated preschool and moved on to Kindergarten. Can’t believe how quickly the time has gone. My Nigel is 6 and Ami is 3. My daughter and I had some lovely outings and girl time together, her first time getting some real one on one time with me. Nigel also started having almost weekly sleepovers over at my parents house with his cousins.
We took a few mini vacations to Venice Beach and Nokomis, one of our favorite towns. My husband and I celebrated our birthdays in February, they’re just two weeks apart, and our 8th anniversary in May! We took a fun day cruise for Father’s Day in Ft. Myers with my husband’s parents and his sister and her kids.
We had a fabulous time reconnecting with family in MN to celebrate the life of my grandmother who passed in September. It was just what she would have wanted to have the family all together again!
My sister-in-law moved down here with her kids this summer so we have tons of family and cousins living nearby now.
And probably the best change for our family was that my husband got a new job! He’s so much happier and more relaxed now. Just the change he needed. That means we’ll most likely be moving over to Ft. Lauderdale in the summer, once Nigel is out of school. Just have to see about selling our condo.
We also spent many wonderful days spent at the beach, the Botanical Gardens, the Zoo, Edison-Ford Estates, the Pirate Fest and all the other places and activities things that make SWFL such a great place to live.
One of the reasons I started this blog was that I needed to focus a bit more on myself and not just on motherhood. Being a stay at home mom is so wonderful and very important to me but it’s really easy to lose your sense of identity when your focus is so devoted on your family and parenting. That really hit home for me after losing my last baby to miscarriage at almost 12weeks a little over a year ago. I was physically and emotionally drained and it took me quite awhile to recover. My grandmother’s recent funeral was on the 1st anniversary of my loss which made it doubly hard. Luckily I have lots of family nearby and they’ve been so supportive and helpful. Focusing on sewing and just creating has really been the best therapy for me. I really love being part of the blogging sewing community, it’s just so supportive and upbeat.
I love how much my sewing has improved in just the last year. I started sewing after my son was born about 6 years ago but really have only been consistently sewing the last year, once he started school and I had more time to myself. If I look back at my first makes the quality of my sewing now is just amazing. I love how having a weekly practice of setting aside time to sew.
Some of my favorite makes are my hand dyed pieces, they’re just so special to me. I love how unique they are. Plus the dyeing process itself reminds me of the printmaking process(my degree), the chemistry and science of making. It just makes me happy!
I still need to work on making my pieces mix and match a bit more. So more simple silhouettes and solid colors. I need to try to avoid too many crazy prints and focus on sewing complete looks for a consistent wardrobe. I also need to think about fabric choice a bit more as that led to most of my sewing issues this year.
On that note, I think the Wardrobe Architect series and Into Mind’s Workbook have probably had the biggest effect on my sewing this year. Planning out my makes with a predetermined silhouette and color scheme has made a huge difference in the wearability of my clothing. You can find all my Wardrobe Architect posts here.
I have some big goals for this year! My youngest starts preschool next fall so I’m slowly getting ready to start-up a slow fashion business. She’ll only be in school a half day so I’m planning on starting small with an Etsy shop selling hand dyed organic clothing. I want the business to grow slowly and organically until I have my own little cottage industry. So my plans for the rest of this year are to really focus on learning more patternmaking and drafting as well as how to grade patterns. I already have my main silhouette’s worked out, it’s just a matter of producing my ideas. I also want to experiment more with dyeing this year. We’re planning on moving to Ft. Lauderdale sometime this summer so hopefully I’ll soon have more studio space and a garden to work with. Looking forward to more sewing learning opportunities on the other coast.
Currently I’m working on a bodice and sleeve block, starting on a new pair of jeans with some fabulous organic denim I found on Etsy, and planning on participating in Amy’s Watson bra sew-along over at Cloth Habit in January!
Hope 2014 has been as great for you! What are your goals for 2015? Looking forward to reading everyone else’s Top 5 Posts! Wishing you all a fabulous New Year!